We dog lovers want to see all the pups get adopted, but the only thing worse than seeing homeless doggies is seeing them finally find a home… only to be taken back to the shelter because the owners realized they cannot take care of multiple mutts.
Here are seven important things to consider before bringing home a second furry family member to make sure the transition is both smooth and permanent.
This is, by far, the most important part of making the addition of a second pup a smooth transition. Not only does the new dog need to get along with the human members of the family, it is crucial that he meets–and plays well with–your first dog before you take him home. Energy level, age, and breed are all important factors to consider. (Note: check out thebark.com for a great in-depth article on how to introduce a second dog into your home.)
2. Crate vs. Roam
Do you let your current dog roam around the house, or must you crate him while you’re away? Will you trust your new dog to have reign of the house, or keep him in his own crated space? Have a plan in place for the first few times you leave your dogs home alone; and do not leave them in the same crate until you know for sure that they really get along.
Do you want two dogs of similar sizes? How about adding a small lap dog to the family? A big guard dog in lieu of an alam system? A dog that’ll fit easily into the car with your current canine? These are all things to think about.
4. Living Situation
Since you already own a pooch, you must live in a pet-friendly community. However, if you’re a renter, some places of breed and weight restrictions, as well as non-refundable pet deposits. Double check your lease before bringing another fluffy friend home.
5. (Your) Relationship
Whether you have one dog or many, having another person to share pet duty is a huge help, but make sure you plan on the relationship being a lasting one. Dogs are very emotional animals, and get stressed when there’s tension at home. Imagine their despair when one of their beloved humans disappears from their lives, or worse, if a broken home lands them back at the shelter.
Unless you get a shed-less dog, remember that two pooches means double the fur, and you will find it everywhere: all over your carpet, covering your clothes, in your car, in your food…If this concerns you, look for breeds that shed little to no fur. If not, invest in a good vacuum. Also, get allergy tested! You don’t want to get a pooch and then realize he’s making you sick.
You know how much you pay for your current dog? Mutiply that by two (as in, double the food, double the heartworm pills, double the vet bills, double the pet deposits…) at least.
If you feel you’ve got these seven things covered, let me be the first to congratulate you on your new addition! For those who can provide a good home, your dogs will repay you with boundless tail-wagging, ball-fetching, and face-kissing for years to come. Enjoy!
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